Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a diagnostic procedure that uses echocardiography to assess the heart’s function and structures. The procedure is performed to evaluate signs and symptoms that may suggest the following:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart disease (CHD)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Aneurysm
  • Vascular heart disease
  • Heart tumor
  • Pericarditis
  • Infective endocarditis

Other reasons for the procedure include evaluating the heart after an open-heart surgery, checking the status of the heart during a non-cardiac procedure and assessing the heart’s function.

Procedure Risks

The following are complications that could arise after a TEE procedure.

  • Breathing problems
  • Arrhythmias
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Injury to the esophagus

What to Expect

Before the procedure the doctor will ask you to fast and give you pre-exam instructions. Right before the procedure a nurse will insert an IV into your arm and you will receive a mild sedative to keep you relaxed during the exam.

During the procedure, a probe with a transducer (device that sends out sound waves) is inserted through the mouth down the esophagus to get images of the heart structures. After the necessary images are made the probe will be removed and the procedure is over.

Once the procedure is over, you will be sent to the recovery room. When your vital signs are stable, the IV will be removed and you will be allowed to go home. You may feel weak or sore after the procedure but this should subside after a few days. Your doctor will inform of the exam results and next steps will be determined for your situation.

To schedule an appointment or for more information please call 314.747.9355 or toll-free 877.747.9355 or email us.